Dutch Street Design for North American Cities

Following a busy few days at the Sustainable Communities Conference, Dick Van Veen and Johan Diepens were invited to present their ideas on improving mobility options at an event held by the Ottawa Centre Eco-District, kindly sponsored by Sunlife Financial. The talk, Dutch Street Design for North American Cities: Maximizing Mobility Options, gave Johan and Dick the chance to present their ideas on how the success of the Dutch approach to mobility might be applied to a North American context.  

With the history of the car and cycling in the Netherlands being such an important part of todays success, Johan gave a comprehensive presentation on how the Dutch have moved from the unacceptably high vehicle fatality rates of the ‘70’s, to the world leading safety of the Netherlands today. Using environmental health and safety statistics from both the Netherlands and Canada, Johan presented a compelling position on why improving sustainable mobility in Canada matters.   

After setting the stage, Dick stepped in to discuss some of the technical design elements used in order to achieve these results. Drawing on examples from the Netherlands, German, Canada and the United States, Dick presented a well-rounded picture on the types of infrastructure that keeps all road users safe. 

The diverse group attendees, comprising of local business owners, property developers, city staff and academics, were keen to dive in deeper and figure out next steps on how to implement changes in Ottawa. With important points being raised, fueling constructive discussion, the event was beneficial to all. 



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